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time posted
Feb 15, 2023

Trust Building Exercises For Couples?

couple is hugging during counselling

Relationships can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. They can also be one of the most challenging. The key to building and maintaining a satisfying relationship is the effort each partner commits to trust.

Trust building exercises for couples are a way for both partners to be on the same page regarding their commitment and investment in the relationship. 

Putting in the effort to build and maintain trust in a relationship can seem daunting and even overwhelming in our fast-paced lives. Exploring ways to incorporate trust building exercises into your daily lives in a fun way will help to put your relationship high on your daily priority list.

Why is Trust Important for a Couple?

Trust can be thought of as one of the foundational building blocks of any intimate relationship. If you do not trust the other partner then sharing personal information, letting your guard down, and experiencing love will be difficult.

By building a solid foundation of trust you will have valuable elements that grow and enhance your relationship. Investment and commitment are two such elements.

The commitment and investment validate your partner’s commitment and investment and their presence in your life. By showing each other how important the relationship is you validate each other. Being validated or feeling seen is vital to making your partner feel loved.

It is important to remember that building trust at the beginning of a relationship is not enough, this trust must be maintained and nurtured through the duration of the relationship. This brings a sense of consistency and safety to each partner. 

Feeling safe and secure in the relationship provides a sense of safety and when we feel safe, we are more inclined to enjoy ourselves and experience love. Having consistent safety reassures us and allows for us to not feel uneasy during conflicts or misunderstandings.

By using trust building exercises for couples, you and your partner can develop daily habits that continuously build and maintain the trust in your relationship. When you make this commitment, you will see that your relationship feels like a safe haven for both of you.

How Can We Build Trust?

There are many ways that you can build and maintain trust in your relationship. There are different trust building exercises for couples that offer valuable experiences. The trick is to find exercises that appeal and work for your relationship.

There is nothing wrong with incorporating more exercises that feel natural and comfortable. This is a good way to begin setting these exercises into a daily practice. It is also just as important to try exercises that put you out of your comfort zone and require you to engage more fully with them.

Being brave together and experimenting with a wide variety of exercises can be a fun bonding experience. Explore different ideas and resources!

  1. Building Connection

We want to feel connected to our partner, to feel that there is a special bond of emotional intimacy. If you are in a relationship, you have admitted that there is a bond, now you can grow this bond into something truly spectacular.

  • Losing yourself in each other’s eyes.

Eye contact can be a beautiful way to grow your bond. Sit across from each other and spend five minutes sharing focused eye contact. You may experience the need to laugh, then laugh and share that joy. 

The aim is to be able to let the world slip away and get lost in the connection you share.

  • Hand to heart.

You can increase the connection in the eye contact exercise by placing a hand on the other partner’s heart. The physical connection can enhance the experience. You can also incorporate the hand to heart connection when you greet each other. 

This focused and deliberate gesture is filled with love and trust.

  1. Using Communication

Communication is key for many aspects of a relationship; trust is no different. Being able to share with each other and communicate your thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs allows for a fuller and more meaningful understanding of each other. 

  • Time to talk.

Make sure that you have time to talk and share with each other each day. This could be while cooking dinner, while you bath or shower, over dinner, etc. Find a time that works for you to sit and give each other your full attention.

Talking whilst fully focused (no phones, TVs, or other distractions) builds trust and understanding, and appreciation for the other partner.

Saying “I love you” should be part of this daily communication (if you are at this stage of your relationship!)

  • Honest talk.

Making sure all your communication is open and honest is helpful when you are building and maintaining trust. Lies or half truths will come back to haunt you in one way or another.

If something has happened, or you feel you need to express something that may cause conflict, it can be tempting to either not express it or to adjust what you say to prevent the conflict. This can lead to a breaking in trust.

Honestly talking about what you are comfortable with, what you need in a relationship builds the trust because you are being vulnerable and sharing the inner you. This can help you set healthy boundaries as a couple. 

  1. Ensuring Physical Intimacy

Physical intimacy can grow a relationship exponentially. This does not only refer to sexual intimacy but exploring other ways to connect physically and provide your partner with a feeling of being loved and cared for. Physical intimacy releases the hormone oxytocin (the love hormone) which leaves you feeling buoyant and happy.

  • Sexual intimacy.

Sharing sexual intimacy builds trust and closeness between partners. Communication regarding sexual needs and wants will be important to help grow this connection into a truly special one for both partners.

  • Non-sexual intimacy.

Sharing physical contact without sexual connotations or expectations is as valuable as sexual intimacy. Holding hands, cuddling while watching a movie or going to sleep adds to the cared for feeling, it also makes a person feel safe and secure with their partner.

  1. Playing with Language

Language is our form of communication. Language is powerful as it is how we interact with the person we love; therefore, it can be used as a powerful trust building tool.

  • Create your own terms.

Making up terms or endearments that are specific to your partner is a fun trust building exercise for couples. This can be used for light-hearted purposes, such as the nickname you call each other or how you compliment each other, to more difficult purposes such as asking for time to talk about a disagreement.

Having terms that you both know and understand creates a shared sense of existence that is special just to this relationship. These terms can be verbal or non-verbal and take the form of a gesture.

  • No hurtful language.

As a partner you know what language will upset the other. You know the words or actions that will trigger an argument or hurt feelings. Choosing not to use these is an action of love. This might be difficult during times of conflict, and this is the time it proves the value you put on the relationship.

Hurtful language may be used to tease a partner, whilst a funny jest is part of a loving relationship, these jokes should not use hurtful language. If you are not sure what language is hurtful to your partner, it is a good idea to sit down and discuss this.

Remember hurtful language could be actions as well, think of the silent treatment.

  1. Remembering Appreciation and Recognition

Being recognized and appreciated is vital to any human experience. Having this with your partner is a must.

  • Acknowledging what they do.

Thank your partner for the little (and big) things that they do for you. Often, we appreciate our partner in our minds, and forget to share this appreciation with them.

Sharing the appreciation with them allows them to feel the flood of love and care you are experiencing. 

  • Complimenting each other.

Many of us are uncomfortable with receiving complements. This is commonly because we are not used to receiving them regularly.

Shower your partner with authentic and genuine complements. The more authentic and genuine, the more the complements will mean to your partner. Get specific, really share the appreciation you have for them.

  1. Quality Time is a Must Have

Spending time together builds many parts of a relationship. This quality time is a perfect opportunity to increase understanding, appreciation, love, and trust between partners.

  • Date Night.

Date nights are a fun way to schedule in some quality one on one time. Share the role of choosing a date activity (from a favorite to trying something new). You may find it helpful to schedule a specific day of the week for date night.

Whilst this may seem unromantic, realistically our lives do get busy and date nights might fall away in the rush. 

  • Share Responsibilities.

Deciding what to do for date nights or other quality time activities can get tricky. Especially if one partner is responsible for the planning, deciding, initiation, and execution of quality time. This can become demotivating as well.

By sharing the responsibility, you are both investing effort into spending time together.

  1. Building and Rebuilding Trust

Building trust in a new relationship or rebuilding trust after it is broken can seem intimidating. Take a breath and remember that one step at a time is the best way. 

  • What does the other partner need?

When you are building or rebuilding trust it is important to be open to meeting the needs of the other person. A valuable discussion would be to discover what they feel builds trust.

You can make a list of these things and each partner can try and follow the list to help build trust.

  • Small and consistent.

The actions or things on the list mentioned above do not all need to be big and overt; they could be small things such as hugging each time you greet. These small actions are the ones that build consistent emotional intimacy. 

Are There Things to Keep in Mind While Building Trust?

There are a few important things that should be considered on this exciting journey of building and maintaining trust:

  • Stay committed, consistency is key.
  • Laugh and allow for mistakes.
  • Trust doesn’t happen overnight; it must be practiced each day.
  • If your relationship is struggling, then a family therapist can assist you. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.

To Wrap Up

Working on trust should be a fun, daily practice that both partners are equally committed to. Try out different ways to build trust, find your favorites and throw in some new experiences. Sometimes using a family therapist can help you through a difficult time or if trust has been broken.

Reach out to One Life Counselling and Coaching for couples counselling in Calgary today.

I am the founder of One Life Counselling and Coaching LTD and I am honored to lead a team of professional psychologists, psychotherapist’s and life coaches who dedicate their professional lives to helping people to elevate their mindsets, evolve their beliefs and learn to thrive in the present moment.
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